Identifying Young Entrepreneurs in the Classroom

It’s the last week of Career and Technical Education Month and that means it’s the beginning of National Entrepreneurship Week. In the U.S. small businesses are important to the economy because they:

  • Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 44 percent of total US private payroll.
  • Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).
  • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.


As the statistics above show, it’s important to support small businesses that already play a role in our economy, but it’s also important to expose youth to the skills and benefits of becoming an economical leader. Instilling entrepreneurial skills in our youth encourages a generation of leaders who set their goals high, know how to use their creativity to achieve success, and understand and desire the feeling of empowerment.

Some students don’t need as much help discovering their path and drive and make themselves comfortable as a leader at an early age. However, students who are defined by their teachers as high-energy or loners are often those with the most potential to become entrepreneurs.

  • How can you help these students see their high-energy, independence, innovation, and competitiveness are key qualities for becoming a successful entrepreneur?
  • Have your students identify one of their traits that could be interpreted as a weakness (competitiveness, outbursts, shyness, creativity). Challenge them to list all the professions where this trait would be an asset instead of a liability.
  • Help students manage their flow of ideas by helping them set goals. Have them identify something they want, it can be business related or personal, and then break the journey into smaller steps. Ask them, what do they need to start? How will you get to the next level? How will you hold yourself accountable for reaching this goal?

Programs like Junior Achievement, Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership, The Boys and Girls Club of America and the Young Entrepreneur Council come together to inspire students to take control of their futures and make their dreams a reality. LifeBound’s LEADERSHIP FOR TEENAGERS similarly inspires students by presenting leadership skills by connecting historical leaders from across the disciplines to contemporary and relevant leaders, observing pioneering young leaders locally to internationally, and engaging them with chapter activities that helps turn ideas into actions.

Help a student develop leadership skills and show them they have the power to make a difference, whether it’s in their family, their community, their country or the world.

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